All Ireland hurling champions Kilkenny capped their all-conquering year as six of the team that this year claimed the county's first ever four in-a-row were named today in the 2009 GAA All-Stars hurling team, sponsored by Vodafone.
The awards will be presented at the GAA All-Stars banquet in the Citywest Hotel in Dublin tomorrow night when the GAA Football All-Stars of 2009 as well as Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year will be announced in both hurling and football.
Today's announcement of the hurling All-Stars sees Kilkenny forward Henry Shefflin join his former team-mate DJ Carey and ex-Kerry footballer Pat Spillane at the top of the all-time leaderboard with nine awards.
Shefflin is also the only player to receive an All-Star award on eight successive occasions.
In all, five counties are represented on this year's hurling All-Stars selection, with defeated All-Ireland finalists Tipperary receiving two awards less than the champions with four - two more than the Premier County received last year.
Waterford's Michael 'Brick' Walsh and John Mullane both appear on the All-Stars line-up for the second time, with centre-back Walsh having previously been selected at midfield (2007) and corner forward Mullane also getting a new berth - his previous award (2003) was at right half-forward.
Notably also, Dublin midfielder Alan McCrabbe wins his county's first award since Brian McMahon was selected in 1990.
The six first-time winners are Tipperary's Padraig Maher (full-back), Lar Corbett (right half-forward) and Noel McGrath (left full-forward), Kilkenny goalkeeper PJ Ryan and Dublin ace McCrabbe.
Ryan is the first Kilkenny goalkeeper to be selected as an All-Star since Michael Walsh was a winner back in 1993.
The county breakdown is Kilkenny (6), Tipperary (4), Galway (2), Waterford (2) and Dublin (1).
2009 VODAFONE GAA HURLING ALL-STARS TEAM:
1. PJ Ryan (Kilkenny), 1st award
2. Ollie Canning (Galway) 4th award (‘01, ‘03, ’05)
3. Padraig Maher (Tipperary) 1st award
4. Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny) 3rd award (07, ’08)
5. Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) 7TH award in a row (‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ’08)
6. Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh (Waterford)2nd award (’07)
7. Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary)2nd award (’08)
8. Michael Rice (Kilkenny) 1st award
9. Alan McCrabbe (Dublin) 1st award
10. Lar Corbett (Tipperary) 1st award
11. Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)9th award (‘00, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ’07, ’08)
12. Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)2nd award (’08)
13. Noel McGrath (Tipperary) 1st award
14. Joe Canning (Galway) 2nd award (’08)
15. John Mullane (Waterford) 2nd award (’03)